The Master of Arts in Teaching is a 43 unit graduate program (8 units plus 35 units for the teaching credential, which currently must be completed at Saint Mary’s College).
The program is designed specifically for teachers who want to enhance their understanding of pedagogy, student learning and subject matter in the PreK-12 classroom. The program is grounded in individualized, inquiry-based learning. During the program, students develop a set of guiding questions within a content area of their choosing, collect multiple resources for teaching the content, investigate research on teaching and learning in specific subject areas, design new ways to teach, create an e-portfolio, and submit a final project. The final project should be a substantial educational product, whether a curricular unit, educational video, interactive website, training handbook, or another kind of project. The MAT is a hybrid program that combines on-campus courses with online work.
MAIT 401 Introduction to Inquiry (1 unit)
This course prepares students for inquiry-based learning and completing the masters program. Students reflect individually and collaboratively on areas of their professional preparation that they would like to improve and/or investigate more deeply. After choosing a subject area for further investigation, students generate a list of guiding questions on content and pedagogy in that area. Students learn how to extract and summarize essential information from research articles and primary content sources, and how to use the library and library databases to access this material. Students write a final reflection about their existing teaching knowledge and their personal goals for the program.
MAIT 402 Content Knowledge (3 units)
In this course, students expand and develop their disciplinary expertise as a teacher. Students conduct an investigation in which they seek answers to a set of guiding questions focusing on content knowledge, by collecting, analyzing, sharing and reflecting on three types of resources (primary, secondary, and experiential) to be used in their future work as classroom teachers. In addition, students read and discuss key educational theorists who have provided the building blocks for student centered pedagogy and situate their inquiry within broader philosophic thinking in education. As an element of their electronic portfolio, students create an annotated Wiki of resources for teaching in their subject area.
MAIT 403 Pedagogical Knowledge (3 units)
In this course, students engage in a deep examination of how pupils learn and how to teach specific K -12 subjects. The course includes readings in contemporary and classic learning theory as well as library research into subject-specific learning and teaching. During the course, students focus on investigating their guiding questions related specifically to pedagogy, through reading, observation of teaching, and interviewing experienced teachers. They also engage in Lesson Study within subject area groups by designing, teaching, evaluating and re-designing a demonstration lesson in their subject area. Students begin the process of designing their Capstone Project, and add to their e-portfolio a full academic Literature Review within their chosen subject area.
MAIT 404 Capstone Project (1 unit)
During this course, students complete a Capstone Project of their own design, present this project and write a reflective paper encompassing their experience during the entire Masters program. The Capstone Project should synthesize the knowledge they gained in the areas of educational theory, research, content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. It could be a curriculum unit, a multimedia project, a professional development experience, or another project approved by the student’s instructor. The Final Paper addresses the progress made in answering the guiding questions developed by the student and includes a plan for applying the knowledge gained during the program in the students’ future teaching. Students finalize their e-portfolios by adding the Capstone Project, Final Reflection Paper and Final Presentation.